BUSHVELD Minerals, the London-listed vanadium producer, said it had met a number of project milestones ahead of installing 3.5MW worth of hybrid renewable power in a “mini-grid” for its Vametco vanadium mine.
The mini-grid consists of of 3.5MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation and 4MW hours of vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) energy storage. The vanadium used to manufacture the battery was produced at Bushveld’s South African mine, it said.
Bushveld Minerals has entered into a number of technical agreements with manufacturers of VRFBs in the hope that it can stimulate demand for vanadium, predominantly used in the production of steel where it’s used as a hardening agent.
An environmental authorisation for the project had been received from the South African government. A memorandum of understanding had also been signed with Thebe Investment Corporation, a South African investment management company, as a strategic equity partner in the development and funding of the hybrid mini-grid project.
“The hybrid mini-grid project will supply just under 10% of Vametco’s electrical energy consumption at any one time and will demonstrate the technical and commercial capability of hybrid mini-grids using solar PV and VRFB technology,” Bushveld Minerals said.
Bushveld announced earlier this week it had raised $35m in convertible loan notes as part of a larger recapitalisation of its balance sheet. This will help Bushveld Minerals pay down existing debt and secures production at Vametco to about 4,200 tons annually.